Boehner: If some federal workers lose jobs because of GOP cuts, 'so be it'
February 15th, 2011
02:04 PM ET
3 years ago

Boehner: If some federal workers lose jobs because of GOP cuts, 'so be it'

Washington (CNN) - House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday if some federal workers lose jobs because of Republican-proposed spending cuts, "so be it." But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was quick to say "not so be it."

"Over the last two years since President Obama has taken office, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs and if some of those jobs are lost in this, so be it," Boehner said during a news conference with reporters at the Republican National Committee. "We're broke! It's time for us to get serious about how we're spending the nation's money."

Boehner, who was joined by other House Republican leaders, criticized the President's budget proposal for not cutting enough and said Republicans would address entitlement reform when they release their budget blueprint this spring.

"Republicans will not punt," said Boehner. "Everything's on the table. We will put forward a budget that deals with the big challenges that face our country…I have no doubts that all of these issues [Social Security and Medicare] will be on the table."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi seized on Boehner's comments in a speech on the floor, saying Republicans' proposed cuts would leave many in the cold.

"Democrats do not subscribe to Speaker Boehner's verdict that if jobs are lost in this continuing resolution, so be it," Pelosi said. "Maybe so be it for him. But not so be it for the people who are losing their jobs."

Asked at a news conference about Boehner's comments about federal workers, New Jersey Democrat Rob Andrews pounced.

"What I'd wonder – so what if it's air traffic controllers that make the skies safe? So what if it's FBI personnel working in labs that do DNA testing of suspects? So what if it's border security officers keeping people from getting into the country illegally? So what if it's USDA meat inspectors that make sure our food supply is safe? So what if it's people who test the cleanliness of our drinking water or test for radioactivity in our land?"

– CNN's Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.


Filed under: John Boehner
soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. Liberal4Obama

    Republicans are such hypocrytes.

    Where is the JOBS JOBS JOBS chant now Mr Boehner?

    February 15, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. John

    Guess what? When times get tough, and tough decisions have to be made, jobs may be cut. I was with a company that had to make tough decisions, and they cut my job. Did I like it? No. Did I understand it? Yes. Where was Nancy Pelosi then? Probably sipping wine in the vineyards.

    February 15, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. w7rkd

    I bet he wants one of those KKK license plates

    February 15, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Cosmo

    At least some jobs were created. What is your plan Mr. Speaker for creating jobs and improving the economy? That is the issue thatthe GOP ("Got Our Pile") ran on. Fulfill your campaign promise by creating jobs and stop wasting everbody's time with political rhetoric and pandering to radical right wing elements of your party or you will find yourself with the rest of your party in 2012 looking for work.

    February 15, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. Retired Army in San Antonio

    How about we start with Boehner's federal job being cut?

    Short of that.....since we're so broke.....maybe he'll step up and volunteer to have his pay cut but maybe.....50 or 60%?

    Or maybe.....just maybe.....the hypocrite should just shut his yapping mouth! Hey! It's just a suggestion ;-) .

    February 15, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Luke Brown

    Econ 101: Excessive Tax Cuts for the Rich – "We're broke."

    February 15, 2011 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. bo-D

    I thought republicans were going to create jobs not get rid of them? You got your tax cuts now where are the jobs you don't care about people

    February 15, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. ATR

    So I vote that Boehner can be the first federal employee to lose his job. This attack on government employees by the Republican elected officials is ridiculous. Aren't they themselves s government employees?

    February 15, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Luke Brown

    Econ 101: Excessive Tax Cuts for the Rich = "We're broke."

    February 15, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. oracle

    Parhaps Boners salary as well as that of his fellow GOP Congressmen should be cut too, 50% would be a good start.
    Leading by example you know. I think he'd survive just fine on $90,000 a year plus the PAC money he collects.

    February 15, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. U.S. Common Sense

    I see no problem with this. As the old saying goes, "If the truth hurts ... it's still the truth."

    February 15, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Mickey, NY

    Hey Boehner, seems that I remember Obama making you cry during the STOU address. I seem to remember your eyes welling up with tears like a schoolgirl who just missed her bus. By showing your weakness in front of your peers, and America, at that very moment, you bacame Obama's bitch.

    February 15, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. WatchDawg

    I guess these jobs do not meet Boehners top 2% of his rich friends. So they are not worth saving, A sad Republican truth.

    February 15, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. Eileen

    So what it it came to Congress having to do without so that everyone else didn't have to be the sacrificial lambs.....

    February 15, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. Bob

    I cant't stand John, but I would say this is no different from what the public is facing. A great many folks in private enterprise jobs face this threat every day. So the government is "special" Nancy, and unecessary government workers should not be like the rest of us? Wow, what a stupid attitude Nancy.

    February 15, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Seth Hill

    I'm a life-long liberal who always believed it's good when the government can help people and employ people. But even I realize, if you're broke, you ain't got money to spend. Sorry.

    February 15, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  17. Cog in the wheel

    Layoffs do not help lower the cost of government, at least in short term. Laid-off workers stop paying income tax and start receiving unemployment benefits. Many start receiving other government-sponsored assistance (so more expense for the government.)
    A much better way to save money is to cut wages and salaries. Government workers making over $200K should see a 20% reduction in pay, workers between $100k and $200K should see a 10% reduction, below $100K a 5% reduction (or some similar reduction...) Jobs are not lost but government expense goes down, and money continues to circulate in the economy.

    February 15, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. keeth in cali

    Does "everything on the table" include big oil subsidies and the Pentagon? If not, then you know where the GOP is blowing smoke...

    February 15, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  19. Bill

    Boehner says we are broke. Well if we are so broke then why does the republican leadership continue to fight for tax cuts for the wealthy and continue to cut programs for the middle class and poor? The republicans continue to fight for the 'rights" of the corporate elite and their rich cronies under the guise that they are the job creators. You would think that with all the tax breaks given the rich through the Bush years we would be at full emploment. Once again Boehner and his friends display their utter lack of regard for anyone else except their base and continue to pander to them at the expense of the country.

    February 15, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. Skokie

    I think you Sir should cut your hours and make it possible for someone else to keep their job. That would be a great sacrifice on your part.

    February 15, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. hjs3

    The first of many to come no doubt.....
    In the midst of a nicotine fit?

    February 15, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. Margie

    So the republicans ran on JOBS, FIXING THE ECONOMY. Now they are cutting pensions, trying to give the rich more tax cuts, giving corporations a slide on paying taxes. It seems to me that when the a-hole Joe Wilson told Obama (found to be erroneously) that he lied, he was very very mistaken. The only people who lied are the republicans. But gee whiz, most of the intelligent honest people in the country, and that excludes tea bags and the rest of the republicans dumb bells where the only one who knew that. Republicans you are the ones who lie, lied and continue to lie. How in Hades you ever won is beyond me. But then of course we didn't have the access to the electronic ballot boxes.

    February 15, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. keith

    if the govt is broke, why not start with cutting the pay of Congress, or better yet lay them off of their job. It's not as if they NEED that money.....most of them have siphoned money off under the table anyway and are living quite high on the hog. I have to laugh at how Boehner wants to blame Obama for the country being broke, yet Congress is who passes the laws and decides who gets the money....which usually ends up going to some one of their pork barrel projects. You all talk about helping the american public out, but you do nothing of the kind. Bunch of crooks

    February 15, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. tstorm

    Hey Orange-man, You're a federal worker.....how about we lose YOUR JOB... so be it!! Conservatives are so quick to ax people's jobs as long as it's not THEIR job, or to ax people's health care as long as it's not THEIR health care. Republicans are a bunch of uncaring hypocrites. !

    February 15, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. caseylew

    I'm not a fan of his, but the reality is if we are serious about reforming our over sized ineffective government the unemployment rate will go up.

    February 15, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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